Roasted Dates Stuffed with Goat Cheese
Are you planning a dinner party in the near future? Do you want to be the hostess with the mostess? Make these yummy appetizers and they will be the hit of your next party. Every time I make these, people ask me where I bought them. They look so gourmet and yet they are so easy and quick to make. I have to refrain myself from not making them at every get together I have for fear of boring people with the same menu. The best part about this recipe is that dates are so “exotic” and not used frequently in day to day cooking, and yet they are so easy to find in your local grocery store (mine are stocked in the produce area). Don’t be afraid of dates either if you have never tried them. If you like raisins, you will like dates. My boys eat them by the handfuls and since I have been making this recipe, I have been buying my dates at Costco because we go through them like it is candy. I swear, Julian (my 2 year old) alone eats 5 or 6 of these stuffed dates when I make them.
* For my loyal Paleo followers, I know this recipe has cheese but don’t dismiss this yummy recipe so quickly. As we all know there are many Paleo eaters (myself included) who do allow small amounts of goat cheese in their diets since goat cheese is not as highly processed as other dairy sources. So go ahead and make them; I give you permission. They are worth it, I promise.
- 25-30 dates
- 4 ounces of goat cheese
- 25-50 of raw, whole nuts of your choice (almonds, pecans, or walnuts)
- 5-6 tablespoons of aged balsamic vinegar (NOTE: this is an approximate measurement; I really just pour the balsamic straight from the bottle. I pour enough that each stuffed date has a healthy dose of balsamic on it)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cut the dates in half and make sure there is no pit. While most dates come depited, still take the time and make sure there is no pit. Date pits are long, skinny, and hard.
- Stuff approximately ½ of a teaspoon of goat cheese into each open date. Don't be afraid to roll up your sleeves and get dirty.
- Assemble the stuffed date on your foiled cookie sheet leaving some room between the others.
- Add your nut to each date and then pour the balsamic vinegar over each stuffed date. Again, I think more is better so don't worry about being so precise. Adding a generous amount of balsamic allows the vinegar to crystallize and give a sweet, caramelized coating if you will to the date.
- Put in oven and bake for about 12-15 minutes. I bake until the cheese is soft and bubbly.
- Serve and enjoy!
So what other appetizers do you love sharing with guests?
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